At the end of a barbecue a couple of weeks ago, my friends turned to me and asked, "How much do we owe?" It was one of the first big get-togethers of the Summer, and my boyfriend and I had taken on most of the duties, after all, we were hosting. It was our idea to have friends over, and cook up some dinner. A couple friends brought wine, which is always nice to see when you're hosting. But, other than the couple bottles of red and white, I was happy to shop and prepare the meal — I knew what I was getting myself into when I invited guests over. So, as friends were preparing to leave, and each offered to pay me their share of the costs, I just laughed politely and refused.
What surprised me was the following weekend when we headed to one of our good friend's for a similar Summer cookout. This time, on the way out, she politely asked each person to leave $10 to cover the cost of food. Of course, $10 isn't a lot to ask, but after the situation at my place, it was a little awkward. Still, everyone paid their share, and that was that. Obviously, if you're paying for groceries for a group of friends it's nice to be reimbursed, but then again, if you've invited friends doesn't covering those costs go hand in hand with hosting? What do you think?